Species Hierarchy
Kingdom ANIMAL (ANIMALIA)
Phylum BACKBONED ANIMALS (CHORDATA)
Class BIRD (AVES)
Order BIRD - SHOREBIRD (CHARADRIIFORMES)
Family BIRD - GULLS AND TERNS (LARIDAE)
SubFamily BIRD - GULL (LARINAE)
Common name: GULL - RING BILLED
Scentific name: LARUS DELAWARENSIS

ADULT ON ROCK
Location: COLUMBIA RIVER, WASHINGTON, FALL 06

Species Info:

This lifeform is widespread in North America. This lifeform is found north of the Equator in the New World tropics. The white color will help identify this lifeform. This lifeform is very common in suitable environments.

Ring Billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) is found widely in North America. The species breeds from eastern Canada to California. It winters in Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico.

The yellow or greenish yellow legs and black ring around the bill help separate this gull from the larger similar Herring Gull. Immature individuals of this species are a more even gray coloration. When a flock is encountered containing both adults and young, one might think that two species are involved. The Ring Bill is typically about nineteen inches long.

It is learning to adjust to man and is sometimes found in great numbers around shopping centers, landfills, and its typical habitats.

Gulls and Kitiwakes (Subfamily Larinae) are frequently separated from the terns to facilitate study of the Laridae family.

Gulls (Family Laridae) are composed of 43 species of shorebirds that are excellent fliers. The gulls and terns are frequently combined into a single family, but some authors separate them into two families. The two family approach is used here.

Shorebirds (Order Charadriformes) are a group of 305 species of
worldwide birds. While good fliers, they are much observed feeding along seashores and in the vicinity of inland bodies of water. Seagulls and Sandpipers are typical representatives of this order

Aves contains about 8,650 different species of living birds known to science. Each year about one new species is discovered in some remote rain forest or remote island. In addition, scientists have been raising many subspecies to full species status which may raise the species count to 10,000.

However, each year about one species goes extinct. The rate of extinction is increasing, and the rate of new discovery is decreasing, so that the number of bird species will soon begin to decline rapidly. Although different taxonomists would organize the birds differently, there are approximately twenty-seven orders of birds. These orders are broken down into about one hundred and fifty-five different families.

Recent research of the genetic structure of some of the shore birds and owls would indicate that the present organization of orders and families should have some modification.

The birds are a worldwide group of animals that are characterized by having the front limbs modified into wings that are used for flying. Perhaps the most unique feature of the birds is the feathers. These feathers are made up of a central support called a quill and a series of small filaments that are hooked together as barbs.

For many years it was believed that Archaeopteryx discovered in Bavaria was the oldest bird from about 150 million years ago.  However, in l986, Sankar Chattterjee, a Texas paleontologist, reportedly discovered a bird in the genus Protoavis that lived about 225 million years ago.

Backboned Animals (Phylum Chordata) are the most advanced group of animals on earth. These animals are characterized by having a spinal cord or backbone. Most members have a clearly defined brain that controls the organism through a spinal cord. Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals are in this phylum.

Currently, some taxonomists believe that the fish should be divided into two groups (sharks and regular fishes) and that there are some other primitive groups in the phylum such as hagfish or lampreys.

Animal Kingdom contains numerous organisms that feed on other animals or plants. Included in the animal kingdom are the lower marine invertebrates such as sponges and corals, the jointed legged animals such as insects and spiders, and the backboned animals such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

 

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Photos
(Click on an image below to display at left)

ADULT ON ROCK

FLOCK OVER WATER

YOUNG

ADULT FLYING - SHOW UNDERSIDE

YOUNG NEAR ROCK

SIDE VIEW IN PARKING LOT

YOUNG FLYING - SHOW SIDE

ADULT FEEDING

SPLASH

YOUNG FEEDING

IMMATURE

ADULT

FLYING

 


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